Pope Francis’ brief homily was largely on the recently canonized companion of St. Ignatius, Peter Faber. But the Pope also had some remarkable things to say about what he thought was the heart of the Jesuit (and hence his own) vocation. The Pope’s relationship with the general of the Order, Aldo Nicholas, is cordial.This homily, however, might be called not an exhortation to Franciscan poverty, Dominican preaching, Benedictine “ora et labora,” or even Jesuit obedience, but to Augustinian “restlessness.” Almost everyone, in any age, who reads St. Augustine, including popes, is struck by his famous passage that reads: “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” Such a powerful passage is peculiar to no religious order, or even to any religion or philosophy, but is the heritage of every human being who is aware of what goes on in his own soul.
“We Jesuits wish to be etched in the name of Jesus,” Pope Francis continues, using the words of St. Ignatius: “This means to think as He does, to will the good with Him, to see as He sees, and to walk with Him. It means to do what he has done and with the same sentiments, with the passion of His Cross.”The Pope, following St. Paul, does not present an easy doctrine. “The heart of Christ is the heart of God, who, through love, has ‘emptied’ Himself out. Every one of us Jesuits who follow Jesus ought to be disposed to ‘empty’ himself. We are called to lower ourselves: to be of those who have emptied themselves.”
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